No Complaints #66: Dowsing, Diana and St Dunstan

So. Thanks to some reader feedback, I’m going to try and move the time you receive this a bit earlier (I promise I won’t tell on you, people have been saying “can we have it by lunchtime so I have links with which to procrastinate from work all Friday afternoon). I’ll aim for midday GMT. If you still have strong feelings about this you haven’t yet aired, hit reply and tell me.

Also, can you all do me a favour and fill out this very quick survey I’m doing about how people use different communication methods for different people in their lives (eg I whatsapp my mum but call my dad and only really text my sister)? It’s for a work thing, more on this next week.

Things to read

“Do I actually take a long time to put on my shoes? Until recently, I would have said no; it’s just that my girlfriend is short, and therefore closer to the ground, which means gravity has a stronger pull on her, which warps her perception of time. I would never have imagined that ‘my boyfriend takes a long time to put his shoes on’ was a common refrain.”

A man heroically tries to explain why it is that all men (and yes, it is #all of you, I’m just getting that in now for the people who will inevitably email me back to disagree, let’s not make this Pocketgate Mark II) take so long to put on shoes. Email to Pocket.


“The older I get, the more I see how women are described as having gone mad, when what they’ve actually become is knowledgeable and powerful and fucking furious. ”

What if Princess Diana wasn’t a pathetic spurned princess? What if she was a revolutionary badass making the best of an impossible situation? Email to Pocket.



“I have basically stopped making plans entirely. It just became too stressful to cancel all the time. It’s very unnatural to tell someone that, no, you do not want to set a date next week, or next month, because you can’t account for your mood, and in truth, you almost never actually want to go meet up somewhere.”

I can’t decide if this is brilliant or terrible. Either way, I’ve still read it about five times. Email to Pocket.



“I would like to lie and tell you that I have a really busy life and no time for reading, or that as a writer myself, I find I’m too easily influenced by others’ witticisms or turns of phrase, that I’m worried I might accidentally plagiarise the work of someone I adore. And while there is a grain of truth in that, I have to be honest with myself: I’m reading less because I’m dicking about on social media too much, or reading comment pieces online and having mild, irrelevant outrages about them, or drinking, or collapsing in front of the sofa and watching TV. Whatever I’m doing too much of, it certainly isn’t reading.”

I miss reading – real, proper reading  too. I don’t want to blame the internet, because I don’t want to be one of those people who blames the internet for things, so I’ll just settle for blaming my own inability to stay off the internet. Email to Pocket.



“If you’re looking for meaning, believing in divinity might simply be more helpful than understanding entropy. But water, unlike God, is a tangible thing. So how can dowsers be so sure about something that can be proven false? ”

I read obsessively about dowsing, because I’m still haunted by the water-finding in Arthur Ransome’s Pigeon Post. If anyone else is still thinking about that, let me know, I have many feelings to share. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

I’ve just recently got into Millennial, a podcast a lot of very pod-knowledgeable people have been recommending for a while now. It’s a real-time documentary about navigating the existential doubt of your twenties, made and told by Megan Tan. I’m properly addicted and have been gulping it down two or three episodes at a time, so I was very pleased to see this week that Tan is joining the Radiotopia collective, which suggests there are plenty more shows to come.

+ If you don’t already, you should subscribe to Nick Quah’s Hot Pod newsletter  this week he had a really great analysis of what Milliennial going under the same umbrella as Criminal, The Allusionist et al means for this show in particular and independent shows in general. Also, I finally got to meet Nick irl when I was in New York last week, so I can assure you he is the nicest and you should all support his attempts to document whatever the thing we call the “podcast space” actually is.


Things to watch

I suddenly got the Trump-fear this week.


I really want to watch this show.


Compulsory medieval thingamabob

Got your nose.

The guest gif

I’d do the same, tbh.

THE END. See you next time*!
*Next time will probably be next Friday. If you want to suggest things I should include in the next one of these, please do reply and send me links.